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Self-reflection and the temporal focus of the wandering mind

Self-reflection and the temporal focus of the wandering mind,10.1016/j.concog.2010.12.017,Consciousness and Cognition,Jonathan Smallwood,Jonathan W. S

Self-reflection and the temporal focus of the wandering mind   (Citations: 2)
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Current accounts suggest that self-referential thought serves a pivotal function in the human ability to simulate the future during mind-wandering. Using experience sampling, this hypothesis was tested in two studies that explored the extent to which self-reflection impacts both retrospection and prospection during mind-wandering. Study 1 demonstrated that a brief period of self-reflection yielded a prospective bias during mind-wandering such that participants’ engaged more frequently in spontaneous future than past thought. In Study 2, individual differences in the strength of self-referential thought — as indexed by the memorial advantage for self rather than other-encoded items — was shown to vary with future thinking during mind-wandering. Together these results confirm that self-reflection is a core component of future thinking during mind-wandering and provide novel evidence that a key function of the autobiographical memory system may be to mentally simulate events in the future.
Journal: Consciousness and Cognition - CONSCIOUS COGN , vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 1120-1126, 2011
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